Thursday, 31 May 2012

I got angry...

... and I'm annoyed with myself over it.

Another post by a brave soul out there has prompted me to post this.  I snapped yesterday getting heated in an argument with a person at my place of work I find infuriating.  That is no excuse frankly is it.  Well I don't think so, I only have to work with the person, they really in my grand scheme of life have a tiny tiny corner of space just at this moment and that will pass and they will move on or I will and that will be that gone, not important.

This person though is a black belt in obfuscation.  Ever issue grows and grows around him, he has a knack for over complication never simplification.  Yesterday I told him something that I'd understood pretty much from day one of the eight months I've been here - the next financial year is a zero based budget.  i.e. even if you have a project that is continuing you have to rebid for the money, any money not spent this year goes back into the pot to be redistributed.  Use it or lose is really the phrase - or write a damn good case to get it back next year.  He insists to me that is not the case and that he can "roll over" a bunch of money.  In the end I got the Director to back what I was saying up.  This lead to a 40minute phone call with him bitching about this - unproductively it was just going in circles.  He then suggested doing something I'm not prepared to countenance, I might be wrong but in my experience I'd even suggest it is possibly illegal.  He then said again he needed confirmation and didn't need someone "guessing" about it.   At that point I lost it and snapped back raising my voice and pretty much slammed the phone down on him, I wasn't guessing, in my experience of 20plus years of some form of budget management the guidance I've always seen explicitly states against what he was suggesting.  It maybe different here but frankly I doubt it and I'd have to be explicitly told to do it by someone in authority.  And actually if they did I'd still question it and probably refuse to action it.  It just is plain wrong to me.

People, places and things.  Is a phrase often said at AA meetings or between members often with a wry smile as the speaker sees the look of recognition in the person bemoaning about something.  Yes I cannot change them, they will affect me, all I can change is my interaction with them, my reaction to any provocation etc.  The adopted prayer of AA is the short version of the Serenity Prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

There was something of a very notable lack of any serenity yesterday in that exchange I'm sad to say.

Still ... progress not perfection...   Furtheron....


  1. there are times when it is perfectly appropriate to be angry. and a proposed compromise of operational integrity -- potentially illegal -- is certainly a good reason to make a little noise and stand your ground.

    the hard part, however, is maintaining as much composure as possible. if you are right? remember that. sometimes it helps just to blink, nod, maintain silence, and let the other person rant away... eventually they will get tired of the lack of response and move along.

    (all of my theatrical training sometimes pays off...)

    take care, furtheron. don't shy away from holding your ground when you are right.

  2. There is however another phrase.

    F*ck you and the boat you came in on.

    Tell the stupid B that what he's doing doesn't work, o just ignore him.

  3. I love TSB'S comment.
    Yes, I too felt bad about my anger . . . but as you say it's progress not perfection.
    My Bro asked me yesterday, who wrote the serenity prayer, I forgot to google it, so thanks for that; I'll text him right now.
    And then pray for some more serenity. Take care x

    1. - interestingly it post dates the creation of AA for some years and it wasn't adopted until in the 50s I don't believe...

  4. Exactly, progress, not perfection. I found myself turning to the Serenity Prayer several times this week although my "go to" prayer is Footprints just so I can remember I'm not alone in all of this. It took me a long time to figure out that I can only control MY reaction to someone else's behavior. Once I finally did, it relieved a lot of stress for me.

    My best to you.

  5. Showing anger is a varied thing in my experience - and maybe your response was entirely appropriate! I'm one of those people who has great difficulty with showing anger (except at home..!!)and always goes for the gentle, conciliatory and diplomatic response, with varied degrees of success. I'm married to someone who has no such qualms, and who has slammed phones down on people and been very forthright in his views when suitably roused and certain of his standing. Used sparsely but effectively, I have to say, it hasn't done him any harm at all - quite the opposite. Sometimes it seems people only take notice if you really show how strongly you feel about something, and if you know you are correct, which it certainly seems you were in your situation. I'm trying to learn how to use a bit of anger if I really need to... and to paraphrase the Serenity Prayer, to have the wisdom to know when that is!

  6. It's the...courage to change the things that I can...that is often so hard and takes a lot out of us I think. I had a shitty day today at the Oaks Community Cafe...I'm volunteer and on the management and some people have no common sense ...I think!! I've calmed down now!!

  7. Something tells me that the guy needed someone to call him on his crazy making behavior. And you needed to blow a gasket. We all do from time to time. Be easy on yourself :-)

  8. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable response to me, and calmer than most would have managed. You seem endlessly patient, but certain people excel in stirring things's their gift, of sorts. The serenity prayer sounds absolutely perfect for this situation.

  9. Sounds like you were pushed to the point, no one can have endless patience.

  10. At least for a fleeting moment did it feel really good though? Sometimes that's the only way people will listen/respect your opinion.